Making captioning easy.
Captioning may seem like a daunting task but just remember the many students whose experiences will be made more positive, perhaps leading to higher engagement, higher retention, and higher success. There are some simple ways to be proactive about captioning and make the process much more effective, seamless, and easy to navigate. Checkout these best practices next time you need to caption!
Tip 1: Script your narrative or video. While some of us may prefer to "wing it", making a script before recording will allow you a step head in captioning. You can turn that script into a transcript or plug it into a captioning program, like the free YouTube service. Note that accuracy is imperative. Transcripts must be verbatim, only excluding auhsa and aumsa and other verbal ticks. Express Scribe is a useful, free tool for transcription.
Tip 2: Break your transcript into bite-size chunks. Try to keep lines to no more than 42 characters and have no more than three lines in a chunk. This will make it easier for students to read on screen.
Tip 3: In your script, add speaker identification or indications of any sound effects. This will help the viewer to identify who is speaking.
Tip 4: Make sure your audio is high quality. If your audio is muddled it will make it difficult to caption and challenging for all students to hear. Narrate your video or conduct your recording in a quiet room with little extraneous noise like cars, doors shutting, people talking, etc. You will get better sound if the room is carpeted and not too large. If you can, invest in a portable USB microphone rather than using your computer's built-in microphone for additional sound quality.
For more information and best practices for captioning visit the Accessible Classroom Technologies OSU site for DIY Captioning Techniques.